Will Smith for Maryland State Senate

Welcome

District 20 is home to one of Maryland’s most engaged and diverse constituencies. Residents of the district demand strong, progressive leadership and responsive constituent service. As a Silver Spring native, and as your State Senator, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities this community has afforded me. While our quality of life has improved dramatically over the course of my lifetime, we must work to ensure we live up to our well-deserved reputation as Maryland’s leader in progressive policies. Challenges in education, transportation, the environment, criminal justice and equal access remain ever-present and require effective leaders to help solve them.

As your state senator I have built relationships around the state and practiced the type of principled and collaborative leadership I believe will benefit the residents of District 20. I have delivered for our community and I have been responsive to the needs of our district. I appreciate you visiting my website, and thank you for your interest in making our community a more inclusive and equitable place for all.

I appreciate you visiting my website, and thank you for your interest in making our community a more inclusive and equitable place for all.

Vision

Equity in Education

Keeping college affordable – I have fought alongside my Democratic colleagues to make college more affordable by freezing tuition and limiting tuition increases at Maryland’s public universities. As a result, tuition at Maryland’s public colleges went from being 7th most expensive in the nation to 26th least expensive. I have also been working with my colleagues to develop a plan to make community college more affordable and, in some cases, free.

Defending the Right to Vote

Access to the ballot box – Every voice in our society should be heard, and expanding access to the franchise should a priority for any thriving democracy. While in the legislature I helped lead the fight to re-enfranchise the more than 40,000 Marylanders with felony records on parole and probation regain their voting rights.

The Environment

Environmental justice – Baltimore has the highest emissions-related mortality rate in the nation with 130 out of every 100,000 residents likely to die prematurely in a given year due to long-term exposure to air pollution, which disproportionately affects communities of color. Clean renewable energy, such as wind and solar, does not have these harmful emissions.

Equal Justice for all

Focusing on rehabilitation and deterrence – I worked tirelessly to pass the Justice Reinvestment Act of 2016, which changed the criminal justice system in Maryland by repealing minimum mandatory sentences for certain nonviolent drug crimes and focusing on treatment rather than incarceration for nonviolent offenders.

Common Sense Gun Legislation

No guns on college campuses – College campuses should be places in which the open and free exchange of ideas is encouraged. Our students deserve a learning environment free from the fear that a firearm may be present in a classroom, the campus quad, or the dorm room. As your state senator, I have led the fight to keep guns off of our college campuses.

Expanding Economic Opportunities

Affordable housing – Today thousands of Marylanders are denied housing because they have a housing voucher. 79% of voucher holders in Maryland are people of color and 43% are single mothers. I’ve been working on legislation to prohibit this practice and to give every Marylander an opportunity to live in safe, clean housing.

Protecting our immigrant communities

I’m working hard in Annapolis to ensure our immigrant communities are protected from invasive policing practices and are afforded equal access to educational, social, and economic opportunity.

I’m working hard in Annapolis to ensure our immigrant communities are protected from invasive policing practices and are afforded equal access to educational, social, and economic opportunity.

Biography

Will Smith Head Shot
William C. Smith Jr. was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. His parents were young adults during the height of the civil rights movement. It was their struggle and sacrifice that opened doors of opportunity for Will. His parents taught him the importance of a good education and showed him the benefit of living in a caring, engaged community. With the support of his family, Will became a first-generation college student when he attended and graduated from the College of William and Mary. He would go on to earn a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from William and Mary.

After college, Will enrolled in AmeriCorps where he worked as a community engagement leader for IMPACT Silver Spring and worked at the ACLU as a Legislative Assistant. During law school Will worked at a law firm handling employment discrimination cases and sought a commission as an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, a position in which Will continues to serve in today.

In 2010 Will received a White House appointment to serve as a Director at the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama.

In 2014 Will was elected to represent District 20 in the Maryland House of Delegates. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Will served on the criminal justice and family law subcommittee. Along with these roles, Will was a member of several key workgroups including Justice Reinvestment, Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights and Death with Dignity.

Will Smith and Family

In 2016 Will was appointed to represent District 20 in the Maryland State Senate, making him the first African-American Senator from Montgomery County. In the Senate, Will has worked to forge relationships with his colleagues from across the state and political spectrum which has allowed him to become an effective legislator in Annapolis.

As a member of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Will has championed robust criminal justice reform measures and has led efforts to provide economic and educational opportunities for all Marylanders. Will also serves as the Chair of the Senate Veteran’s Caucus.

Today, Will continues to practice law as a civil rights attorney and lives in Silver Spring with his wife, Camille, and dog, Monty.

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